Charles C. Miller, 16 May 1864

Camp Distribution [?], Va.
May 16, 1864

Dear Parents,

With pleasure I once more embrace the opportunity of writing to you these few lines to inform you I am well and in rather good spirits, hoping his may find you all in the same situation. The weather has been ver disagreeable for a few days past—raining nearly all the time. I suppose you was a little surprised to hear I had been released. Probably you had rather had me remain where I was for the remainder of my time. As for my part, I could not see it in that light. To be sure, there was no danger of my being shot, but the idea of having a dis[honorable] at the expiration of my term of enlistment was what I dislike and which if I obtained I never would have shown myself within the limits of Monroe County. There is no person that can say I am a coward and am afraid to enter a battle. If there is, I want nothing to with that person in anyway if ever I return to my home. If I was a coward, I never would [have] tried as hard as I did to be returned to my command. I not only wrote to the Colonel but to the War Department and had Mr. Wood, the Superintendent of Military Prisoners, to try and do what he could for me. And I must own that it was partly by his influence that I had my sentence commuted.

How long we shall remain here, I cannot tell. Anyhow, as long as the army is on the move, they will not forward us in to the front. I have looked over the list of casualties for the past few days and I have not seen but one from our town that has been wounded. I never told you anything about what we had to eat at the Old Capitol [Prison] during the time we were there during the nine months I was in the laundry department. There was not over three days we ate any pork. It was all rather roasted beed or fried steak—whatever we wanted. All we had to do was to go to the storeroom and get it. We lived big and had a plenty. The food is not very good but about the same as they obtain at the front. The barracks are very comfortable for the kind. What I miss most is a dear friend I left at the “Old Capitol.”

Dear sister, I suppose you still attend the Sabbath School regular, do you not? I hope & sincerely beg of you to try and treasure up some good that will be of good service to you through life. It may be I may never see your face in this world again. If not, I hope to meet you in that better one where there is no war.

All I have to say now is that you all will keep up good courage if possible. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you can possibly write, I bid you adieu for the present. Please accept this from your loving son, — C. C. Miller